Kingsbury: Cardinals K Zane Gonzalez ‘will be a topic’ in meeting with GM
The status of Arizona Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez remains on unstable ground.
For the first time, head coach Kliff Kingsbury was open to admitting it.
Gonzalez’s miss from 48 yards out just before halftime of a 38-28 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday was the kicker’s fourth missed field goal in the past five games.
Kingsbury told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Monday that he expected the kicking position would be discussed when he meets with general manager Steve Keim about potential personnel moves.
“We’ll definitely, when Steve and I get together to discuss personnel, that will be a topic I’m sure,” Kingsbury said. “Once again, we have to make those kicks, we understand that. These teams are too good to not get those points there.”
The comment came shortly after Kingsbury shared a more favorable view of Gonzalez’s job status in a Zoom call with reporters.
“Zane is mentally tough. That comes with the territory of that position. We’ve got to be able to make those kicks. We understand that and he understands that more than anybody,” Kingsbury said.
Before the first-half miss against the Rams, Gonzalez over a five-game span missed three attempts in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime.
Gonzalez is 8-of-13 from 40-49 yards this year and 6-of-6 inside 40 yards. He is 2-for-3 from 50 yards or more and has missed one of 39 extra point attempts.
The 25-year-old Gonzalez, who went to college at Arizona State, was tendered as a restricted free agent this past offseason, reportedly at the second-round level. He signed the one-year offer that pays him $3.26 million, making him a top-five paid player at his position.
The Cardinals would have to chug through coronavirus protocols to sign a kicker from outside the organization, but they have 15-year pro Mike Nugent already on the practice squad.
He signed with Arizona in September to insure the team a kicker in case Gonzalez was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.